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Tomorrow's Chemistry Today. Concepts in Nanoscience Organic Materials and Environmental Chemistry

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Books
Tomorrow’s Chemistry Today
Concepts in Nanoscience, Organic
Materials and Environmental Chemistry. Edited by Bruno
Pignataro. WileyVCH, Weinheim
2008. 465 pp.,
hardcover
E 99.00.—ISBN
978-3-527-31918-3
On August 27–31, 2006, the European
Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS) with the sponsorship of 49 member societies, held its
First European Chemical Congress at
the E(tv(s Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary . Part of the congress
program was devoted to the competition
for the 2006 European Young Chemists
Award, organized and chaired by Bruno
Pignataro, the young (36-year-old) Professor of Physical Chemistry at the
University of Palermo, who conceived
the idea for the book under review here.
About 120 young chemists aged 34 or
younger, from all over the world, who
are producing new paradigms that open
up excellent perspectives for future
research, participated in the competi-
7988
tion. They presented the results of their
research, which featured fascinating
ideas and original conclusions, and
which proposed radically new materials,
molecules, supramolecules, and superstructures. About half of the participants
were judged as top-level by the award
jury. Most of them described topics of
fundamental research, although they
also considered possible applications.
Pignataro collected essays on what
he considered the most interesting
topics by the award-winners, the rising
stars of a new generation of chemists,
into a book, the subject of this review. In
his view, “There are scientific advances
made every day by established leaders in
their respective fields, but it is the
leaders of innovation, the young scientists, who are on the forefront of modern
science and who showcase scientific
advancement. Likewise, the top-quality
research produced by the European
Young Chemists Award Competition
winners will guide the current topics in
chemical and materials sciences”.
Pignataro;s book is aptly titled, for
the emphasis is on !tomorrow!, and it
provides a glimpse into the future of
innovative research in a broad range of
fields, many of which are interdisciplinary. This tripartite book contains 18
chapters by 28 contributors from 12
countries (five from Italy, four each
from France and the Netherlands,
three each from Portugal, Switzerland,
and the United Kingdom, and one each
from Australia, Canada, Denmark,
Hong Kong, Spain, and the United
States), which illustrate the state of the
art in their particular research fields.
Part One, “Self-Organization, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology”, emphasizes the efforts made in the exploitation
of improved knowledge of non-covalent
interactions to synthesize new molecules
with hierarchical structures, possibly to
2 2008 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
mimic nature, whereas Part Two deals
with “Organic Synthesis, Catalysis and
Materials”. Part Three, “Health, Food,
and Environment”, presents examples
of the importance of chemical studies to
the three named areas.
The volume contains numerous
chemical and mathematical equations
as well as thousands of references to
books, articles, and web sites, some as
recent as 2007. The index, consisting of
11 double-column pages, facilitates finding material on specific topics.
Pignataro writes: “I hope that [this]
book, directed to a broad readership,
will be a source of new ideas and
innovation for the research work of
many scientists, the contributions covering many of the frontier issues in
chemistry”. However, in a caveat he
warns us: “Our future is undoubtedly on
the shoulders of the new scientific generation, but I would like to express the
warning that in any case there will be no
significant progress if—together with
the creativity of young scientists and
their will to develop interdisciplinary
and collaborative projects—there is not
established a constructive political will
that takes care of the growth of young
scientists and their research”.
I am pleased to recommend this
unusual and provocative book not only
to organic chemists, biochemists, materials scientists, nanotechnologists, and
those concerned with green chemistry,
but also to younger scientists interested
in the changing face of science and ideas
on how they can contribute to it.
George B. Kauffman
California State University
Fresno, CA (USA)
DOI: 10.1002/anie.200885634
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2008, 47, 7988
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